Grow a vegetable garden and enjoy fresh vegetables for less money. Gardening is much more fun with other people. This year my kids and grand-kids got involved. It’s’ a lot easier for everyone if you are not solely responsible for the garden care and also an awesome opportunity for the younger generations to learn to garden.
To grow a vegetable garden you will need a plan, garden tools (hoe,metal rake, shovel, and trowel, seeds or plants.
WELCOME TO THE “EASY” GUIDE TO VEGETABLE GARDENING
This will be a series of posts that will continue throughout the summer, showing growth,
how we deal with any issues that come along, and simple tips to improve your garden. Check back to see photos of how our garden has grown day by day.
Sometimes the crazy amounts of information and unknown terms with directions that are overly detailed can discourage the beginning gardener. That is why we intend to keep this reference guide simple to allow you to get started and experience the treasures and rewards of growing your own vegetables. You will have successes and failures as every gardener does and this is how you will learn. Please keep in mind that I do not have a degree as a master gardener but I have been gardening for 30 years.
- Pick your space. It can be 4ft x 6ft, 2ft x 8ft, or any size you can manage large or small. Maybe you can use a former flower garden if you are renting to grow vegetables instead. Our vegetable garden is approximately 15 ft x 30 ft.
- If you need to remove grass there are a few ways to do it. Spray the area with grass killer and wait till the grass dies. Follow the instructions on the bottle and pay special attention to how long you have to wait until you can plant in the area. Or lay a black piece of plastic over the area and wait until the grass dies. This will usually take a few weeks. Secure the plastic with logs or rocks, whatever will keep the plastic flat and secured
- You will enjoy playing in the dirt much more if you have all the old sod removed. Depending how big the area is you can take a shovel and dig under the grass, flip over, and take a metal garden rake to pull the pieces of dead grass off of the garden. Try to shake the excess dirt off before removing the pieces. If you are planning a larger garden you could do what we always did. Usually there is a farmer nearby who may be a neighbor and might be willing to bring a plow and run it through the garden to break up the sod so all you have to do is rake it off. It may take 30 minutes to an hour of his time and an agreed upon payment might be all he needs to agree to do it. Some people will keep the plastic on the garden the whole first season and dig holes for each plant and just pull the dead sod out of each whole, dig, and plant. If you plan to do this I would suggest using a thicker grade of clear plastic as when the heat of summer hits the black plastic it will put off so much heat it could burn the leaves on the plants.
Hopefully you can get your space relatively free of large stones and pliable soil.
Renting or buying a roto-tiller does wonders in no time for this.
Now you can begin to plant.
Here we are adding some composted soil bought at a home store.
We mixed it in the top layer of soil to add extra nutrients to help
the seeds and plants grow healthier and bigger.
The fence is made from chicken wire nailed to stakes and stretched.
Then the posts were hammered into the ground a few inches. This is where
The sugar peas will grow and cling to the 4 ft fence.
When you are ready to plant the seeds you take a hoe and pulling towards you at an angle make a row about 2 or 3 inches deep. Then following the instructions on the seed pack put the seeds the specified depth and distance apart from each other. Most people put one kind of seed in each row so that each row has a different item. We planted lettuces and spinach because in zone 6, and in Pa it remains a temperature of 50-70 degrees into the end of April. Lettuces and spinach grow better in the cooler weather. Sugar peas are usually best planted while the weather is still cool. By the time it starts getting hot these vegetables will be past there prime and it will be time to plant things like green beans, corn, zucchini, cantelopes, watermelon, Lima beans and peas. All the directions you need for when to plant, how long it takes to mature, and what kind of weather or zone the vegetable grows in are all in the seed pack.
Check out the Burpee website on the right hand side of the page. The selection is enormous and information is available for everything you might be interested in planting. You can have them shipped to your door by the time your garden is ready to plant!
Below are the sugar peas after 4 weeks and 6 weeks
Below is Spinach after 6 weeks. Within a week it should be
perfect to cut unless you prefer baby spinach, then you could
cut it now.
Below is our mint tea which is a perennial which
has been above ground for 4 weeks.
Below are red beets at 4 weeks and 6 weeks.
Below is red leaf lettuce at 4 and 6 weeks.
Below is mesclun at 4 weeks and 6 weeks.
This is one of our blueberry bushes. First they grow flower buds which in a week or two
bloom and then the blueberries begin to form
Make sure you check back in a few days as we will be updating the growth of everything we
planted. For regular updates you can sign up for an email to be delivered when there is
new articles so you don’t miss anything. I hope you are excited about the fun and
reality of all the food you can grow and the harvest. Your rewards are will be worth the planning
and when you taste these vegetables the same day they are picked you will see that there is nothing
that you can buy that tastes as fresh!